Feridun Özgören learned the traditional art of ebrû in Turkey from Niyazi Sayin, who, in a long master-apprentice chain, is linked back to Edhem Efendi (1829-1904). Feridun came to Massachusetts in 1981. Güliz Pamukoglu, born and educated in Turkey, first met Feridun when they both belonged to a classical Turkish musical group in Cambridge. In 2000, he was preparing for a major exhibition at the Beit Al Qu 'ran in Bahrain and needed assistance. Güliz was eager to learn more about the art of Turkish marbled paper and seized the opportunity to work with Feridun. During 2001 - 2002, Güliz served as Feridun 's official apprentice in the Mass Cultural Council program. Feridun compares Güliz to some of his other students, "She is the best of my students. They mostly come and go - I call those 'curious students. ' Once they see how much work it is, they quit."
The origin of ebrû, a technique of paper marbling, is unknown; most likely, however, the art developed in the cultural centers of a Muslim India, Iran, and Turkey sometime in the 1400s. In the first two thumbnails above, master (orange) and apprentice (purple) interpret the same text, making different artistic choices. Feridun Özgören notes, "Most ebrû makers I know are also musicians. One of the most important aspects of Turkish music is improvisation. You have all the makams (musical modes) and you have all the pigments. You have musical instruments and you have ebrû tools, and what you do with each of those two sets is an improvisation. You are improvising in every ebrû. The improvisations cannot be repeated because they happen only at that specific moment. Therefore, in both music and ebrû, the outcomes are unique and can never be duplicated exactly. "